By Rudy Raya
I wouldn’t call myself a veteran zombie walker, but let’s just say this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself covered in blood and make-up. This is the fourth year that I attended the Trash Film Orgy Zombie Walk and honestly right before the event kicked off this past Saturday, I wanted to walk right back home before it even started.
A zombie walk is an expression of creativity. It is a chance to design a costume, create a character, act like an imbecile and have fun. Then you go get drunk and dance all night with other idiots dressed exactly like you. It’s fantastic.
But this particular walk made for something darker. Something even more troubling.
Before the walk even started, it was preceded by something called “The Carnival Of The Dead.” Now I don’t know what kind of Safetyville-sponsored “Gathering of the Juggalos,” charade this event was supposed to be, but I didn’t like it one bit.
Everywhere you looked there were kids running around in dirty, red corn syrup-stained wife beaters, and all of them sported terrible face-painting jobs. They weren’t quite clowns, and definitely weren’t zombies, but more so juggalo. Yes, definitely juggalo.
There were also food trucks, a bounce house, mechanical bull riding, a giant stripper pole and I’m almost positive there was a guy walking around selling balloon animals and whippets for $5.
By 9 p.m. the zombie walk was under way, but nobody was really moving. That’s because there wasn’t any room to walk. It was like waiting in line for a ride at Disneyland. Just one giant huddled mass of parents and children in half-assed costumes, being herded like sheep and led down 10th Street by smiling police officers.
It was disgusting. The worst part ? Many people weren’t even acting like zombies, and I couldn’t blame them. It’s incredibly difficult to act like a zombie when you’re surrounded by Starbucks-sipping, stroller-pushing soccer moms. I felt like I was trick or treating at the Sacramento Zoo.
Back in the good ol’ days, you’d smear fake blood on all the windows, attack people and try to flip over parked cars.
The zombie wranglers used to beat the shit out of you if you weren’t giving your best Daniel Day Lewis portrayal of a zombie. Not really, but on this day they didn’t even bat an eye.
The walk lasted maybe six blocks. It felt like it was over before it had even begun. Where was the anarchy?
Zombies do not subscribe to the moral conventions of society! Zombies do not follow rules, have families or drive mini vans. Zombies do not conform, they consume!
We needed to do something big. We needed a voice. Like a Martin Luther King Jr. for the living dead, we needed somebody to ask the real questions!
“What about zombie rights?”
“What about zombie-equality?”
“What would zombie Jesus do?”
We had our chance and our platform. What better way to make a statement against this mockery than for thousands of undead citizens to march on the Capitol building?
But, instead, nothing.
There we were, thousands of blood-thirsty zombies, restrained and pacified by society. Though were wearing costumes and covered in fake blood, we had become a different kind of zombie— the kind you see everyday.
We let them destroy what we loved and we were OK with it. Instead of participants, we had become spectators. Everybody was too busy posing for pictures or taking selfies to realize what we had lost.
What was once an outlet for physical creativity, expression and enjoyment, had been turned it into some obscure family-friendly event, devoid of character and originality.
The walk ended just in front of the Crest Theatre on K Street where the walking dead dispersed into the night. Though there’s always next year, I couldn’t help but think that maybe my zombie walking days were over.
Maybe they’re right, ya know? Maybe zombie walking is a young man’s game. Better fit for imaginative little boys and girls rather than a bunch of belligerent adults.
Maybe it’s time to grow up. And I’ll get to that, probably sometime after the Mummy Walk next week, or the Vampire Walk next month, or perhaps the Werewolf Walk in November.
Sometime; eventually; probably not.